Caracal Description

The caracal is a medium sized wildcat weighing about 8-20 kgs. This cat gives the impression that it is powerful and “robust”1. The female is smaller and lighter than the male. Distinguishing features are the long black ear tufts growing from the tips of the tall, triangular shaped black-backed ears. The tufts are long enough to hang down in older cats and are very visible (they are used for communication). This is a slender and long legged wildcat. The hindlegs are a little longer than the forelegs. No surprise that is is a very athletic, indeed spectacular jumper, sprinter and climber.

Caracal description

The caracal’s tail is relatively short (36% of body length). Tree dwelling wildcats have long heavy tails for balance.

Comparing the caracal with the perhaps better known serval, it is not as tall but less slender. The head is quite elongated in comparison to random bred domestic cats. DNA testing puts it “closer to the domestic cat” than the lynx to which it was once thought it was closely related. However, it is more closely related to the African golden cat.

The face has a sleek appearance with a flat forehead. The jaw is short and the bite strong. The face has distinctive facial markings. There is a fine dark line running down the middle of the forehead and two, sometimes faint, short lines either side of it. The nose leather is dark brown/black and the underside of the chin and the throat is white as is the area adjacent to the nose. There is also white fur around the eyes. The face has an intense, slightly fierce appearance.

Caracal description – reference

1. Wild Cats Of The World page 39 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77999-7

Caracal description to caracal

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